Upon walking into George Lopez's new Chingon Kitchen, you get a very Chipotle-like vibe, as there are employees standing behind a glass wall, asking what you'd like on your burritos before they begin to build it right in front of you. You slowly move down the line, telling them to fill up the tortilla with carne asada, rice, beans, guacamole, and salsa. You already know the drill, as we've been trained well by build-your-own chains like Subway and of course, Chipotle.
But those food chains mentioned above are the only entities they share in common with Lopez's new Chingon Kitchen.
While the ordering format at Chingon Kitchen might be similar to that of the popular pseudo-Mexican chain, that's where the similarities end, as George Lopez put together a quick service restaurant that's actually a Mexican grill. Just imagine a build-your-own burrito restaurant, that makes you feel like you're eating Mexican food.
"Chipotle would be proud... We try not to let them touch none of our (censored)," -George Lopez
Everything is made in-house, fresh, and almost feels like your abuelita is preparing food in the kitchen.
As you stand in line, you can see tortillas being handmade from scratch, an inviting sign for "Homemade horchata," and if you peek at the back end of the kitchen you'll see a giant vertical spit where the al pastor meat is being grilled. Right next to it, a wood-fire grill with slabs of carne asada being prepared.
"You won't see anything like that anywhere but a truck,"Lopez said, as he stared down the al pastor. "I wanted al pastor like in the streets of Mexico. That's how we're going to do it."
What can be so great or even get better then this?